DIY Waterproof remote


Design looks cool. How is made? Two halves glued and the screw cap underneath or it’s a single piece with cap?


And endpoints? Am asking because you say “any” esc. I am riding with a Castle Edge 160 HV ESC right now, it’s a pretty nice Heli/Plane ESC with logger inside. Problem is that it has no concept of reverse and expects zerro at 1000ms PWM Signal which is full reverse with most simple RC car remotes. Right now I pull the throttle back with a rubber band (endpoint config needed) to get zerro when I let go. And even worse, if I turn off the remote before I pull the mag switch on the board, the board takes off because the receiver sends a 1500ms PWM failsafe which is seen as half throttle (fail safe config needed). There is no support to configure endpoints inside the Castle ESC like in the VESC, guess it is not needed because the heli/plane RC guys have these fancy big remotes where all that can be configured on the remote side.


Its two halves with gasket, screw cap for access to usb charger and power switch.


I’ll get back to you with more details on this, but the waterproof remote and receiver, when paired and started, calibrates for zero when the throttle is not pulled and should be Zero. We have a double failsafe first with remote if it loses signal (dead battery, turned off) the receiver stops the motor. Also, our ESC will shut down the motor as soon as a signal is lost as well to prevent your board from riding off into the sunset, swimmers, boats etc…

We have not had the issue you mention with our remote so tough to say for sure. Sounds like an ESC issue of using a plane/heli ESC VS boat ESC maybe or even the remote you are using. Personally I’m a fan of water cooled ESC’s which means we use a boat ESC, but the remote works with boat, skateboard ESCs and VESC’s as well.


@pacificmeister, you still have the chance to buffer this VeFoil remote signal thru an Arduino using Pulsein, then re-map the output from standard 1500-to-2000microseconds in 1000/2000. I think it won’t be a throublesome sketch, safety could be mantained or improved as well, with the plus of a cool and waterproof ergonomic remote!


Hmm, sounds like a hack :thinking:. I think it would be much better if you guys add failsafe and endpoint config to this remote to make it work with more ESCs.


Let me restate/correct myself here. Our remote works with “most” ESCs, and designed for jet surfboards using standard HV ESCs for boats, cars, skateboards, and VESC’s. It may not work with Helicopter or airplane ESC’s.

I would not say its a hack, we are simply working to make something simple, effective and affordable for fellow builders.


That’s great Chris. Sorry if I wasn’t clear, I referred to MaB’s additional Arduino suggestion to remap the PWM as a hack to make it work with these ESCs.


Here’s another idea for a remote

It uses a Bafang Thumb throttle from an eBike which is a hall effect sensor. This was designed by some guys that used it with an electric surfboard.


Good idea, I wonder how they will handle the salt water. Do you have a link to this build?


So here is the plan for my remote:

Currently I have a cheap E-skateboard remote
It works well connection wise and has the failsafe fully working so that if I lose power or go out of range the ESC will stop. It is obviously not waterproof which mean ziploc bags or gloves (both of which failed over the weekend).

I have now ordered an IP67 rated switch and IP67 rated pot and tested both underwater to make sure they function as designed. To connect them to the circuit I am going to do as follows:


  • R2 will be set at 2.5K which results in zero throttle and will be the default position. This will be sealed along with the rest of the circuit so that it is watertight.
  • R1 is the new IP67 pot and will be used to control the throttle. I will design a thumb contol.
  • S1 is the IP67 switch which will either ensure the throttle is zero (R2) or set to whatever the R1 is set to.
    If R1 failed for some reason, I can simply disengage it with the switch.

Ultimately this is a nice cheap way of making the remote waterproof…


So it appears there was one issue that I never thought about! When you toggle the switch to change the pots, you end up with a moment where there is no resistance. This means that the Tx sends through a signal that outs the ESC into an error state. To bring it out of the error state, one has to then put the throttle to zero and then back to whatever you want it to be. Therefore it would make more sense to leave the witch out completely and just use the one IP67 pot.


I think this circut would do what you want to achieve:

I assumed your waterproof pot has a total resistance of 10kOhm. Then you would still get a pretty linear throttle response:
If your potentiometer has a higher resistance or you use a lower value for R2 (eg. 20kOhm instead of 200kOhm) you will start to get a crooked throttle response:
I hope this works for you.


The same problem still exists in that at some stage S1 will have no connection and hence no voltage which will put the ESC into an error state.

I think the only way to really incorporate the switch would be to use a DPDT and switch out completely…But that could still leave time where there is no voltage and cause an ESC reset… Not ideal.

It would be more reliable to use the momentary switch to actually power the remote on or off. When off it would simply put the ESC into failsafe mode.


I don‘t know your ESC, but with mine 0V on the analog input commands zero power output. If you look at my drawing again I think this happens. If you let go of the Pushbutton S1 connection to the waterprooof potentiometer is lost. The instant the connection is lost the only thing connected to the Signal line is the 200k R2, which is always connected i.e. hardwired. The second pin in the open positon of the pushbutton is not even connected to anything. So there is no real transition with a floting signal pin sending random values to the ESC. The instant the switch is only a bit open, the throttle is set to zero. Except maybe if you are concerned about your switch bouncing on and off, then there could be a fluctuation betweet the last throttle setting and zero throttle. But that‘s something I would try out first, before making the solution too complex. Anyway, I just saw it as a quick thought experiment and typed it out :slight_smile:


Interesting… My ESC has its zero throttle point when the pot is in the middle and the signal voltage on the Tx is at 1.6V. I will look at whether I can change the remote and ESC settings…


This would work between 3 a 3.8 volt… so no need to 3.3 to 5v!

Finally how have you done with your remote? What have you using?


I use this one:
Works well on my desk with Hiorth brothers trigger style remote.


Really like the work of your remote.
i will do mine which is deffinetly will be based on yours. The one thing i am planning is to use touch key module instead of reed switch. IMHO Cheap and stable module. These buttons are very sensitive, and works good even they are covered by plastic, so you can put them inside the case of remote control. The idea is when you hold your remote - this button is like “always touched” and the remote control is working, if you accidently lose it - the button will be “untouched” and the remote will be off. another question - did you integrate the screen into your remote?

Many thanks!


are you sure that those capacitive sensors will work correctly in water?

Because you also use them to detect water… so I guess it won’t differentiate between your finger and the water.